Tags: 2016 | voter turnout | midterm | victory

LA Times: Voter Turnout Shows GOP Faces Tough Time in 2016

Thursday, 06 November 2014 12:46 PM

Republicans are raising their glasses to toast their overwhelming victories in the midterm elections — but an examination of voter turnout may put an end to their celebrations.

The Los Angeles Times warns the results indicate that the GOP "shouldn't be popping the champagne" for potential victories and a Republican president in 2016 just yet.

Even though the electorate significantly favored the GOP in a period when President Barack Obama's approval ratings have reached new lows, Democrats increased the number of ballots cast in key states over 2010, including New Hampshire, North Carolina and Colorado.

The newspaper also noted there was also scant proof that the GOP boosted its voter turnout among women, minorities and young voters, all of whom are expected to play a major role in choosing the next president in the White House.

"The more troubling picture for Republicans as they look ahead to the presidential race in 2016 is this: Although they won in what some are calling a red tsunami, the long-standing rules about midterm elections held true," wrote The Times' Maeve Reston.

"They won largely because the voters who turn out tend to be more white and more conservative than those who turn out in presidential years."

Preliminary figures show that the turnout varied from state to state depending on whether they had close-contested races, according to Michael McDonald, a political scientists at the University of Florida specializing in voter turnout.

"We're probably going to have the lowest-turnout election since 1942," said McDonald.

"It's that bad. And that was in the midst of World War II when people couldn't vote because they were off at war."

While noting that there was a "fairly robust turnout" in tight races, he said, "If we look at where the campaigns were spending money and trying to encourage their supporters to vote, we do see higher turnout in those states, and we also see that the Republicans have stepped up their ground game and it does seem to be having an effect."

The GOP has invested millions of dollars in data, analytics and their "ground game" to prevent a repeat of the devastating losses during the 2012 election cycle, the Times said.
And, in fact, the GOP made greats strides in getting voters to the polls or cast their ballots early, which resulted in Democrats receiving a shellacking across the country.

But McDonald pointed out that turnout was up for both parties in certain areas of such battleground states as Colorado, Alaska, Iowa and North Carolina.

And he also pointed out that results in Iowa, where Republican Joni Ernst beat Democrat Bruce Braley by 8.5 percentage points, showed that in Johnson County, which leans heavily Democratic, Braley performed about as well as Obama did in 2012.

In fact, in Georgia and Louisiana, Democratic Senate contenders Michelle Nunn and Mary Landrieu had better numbers than Obama in rural counties, even though not enough independents and "presidential-year voters" showed up to defeat the GOP candidates, the Times reported.

"The data shows us that in the most Republican areas, the Democratic candidates in Louisiana, Georgia and Kentucky were outperforming Obama," McDonald said. "And it tells us something about why those campaigns were hesitant to bring Obama in."

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Republicans are raising their glasses to toast their overwhelming victories in the midterm elections - but an examination of voter turnout may put an end to their celebrations.
2016, voter turnout, midterm, victory
Thursday, 06 November 2014 12:46 PM
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